XENIA — The Greene County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency Tuesday morning.
Issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the governor’s executive order declaring a statewide emergency March 9, the resolution is intended for the “exercise of all necessary emergency authority for protection of the lives and property of the people of Greene County and the continuation of local government with a minimum of interruption.”
The resolution calls on citizens to comply with emergency measures and cooperate with public officials and disaster service forces.
The board then passed a second resolution delegating the commissioners’ authority to the county administrator, Brandon Huddleson.
“The emergency resolutions better position the county to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. It allows us to secure state and federal reimbursement funds when/if they become available. It suspends the requirement for competitive bidding and allows us to ensure faster procurement of needed supplies and services,” Huddleson wrote in an email.
Huddleson said if the commissioners are not available to act as a body, he can act on their behalf for continuity of service delivery.
“We continue to hope for the best outcome while planning for the worst case scenarios,” he said.
Effective at least for the next 28 days, all county offices under the board are closed to the public, except for a window for Building Regulations and Children’s Services. The auditor, recorder and treasurer’s offices are also closed. All public business is being conducted via email and drop boxes, travel has been canceled, and meetings are being done over conference calls and Skype.
The board is also working to livestream public meetings beginning Thursday.
Water shutoffs due to delinquent accounts have also been suspended.
“We will get through this together,” Huddleson wrote in an email to county officials.
According to Greene County Public Health Commissioner Melissa Howell, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greene County as of Tuesday morning.
Howell said health district members are guiding partners across the community — schools, elected officials, faith-based community, individuals with disabilities, non-English speaking persons, healthcare providers, law enforcement and fire/EMS personnel, social service agencies, mental health and recovery groups, the YMCA and business leaders.
“The safety of the individuals, families, our partners, and the community are our primary concern. We will work with local, state, and federal partners to assure Greene County has any needed support to bring this event to any end,” she said. “We set priorities together, obtain the medical and legal guidance needed to implement these changes that are influencing our daily lives. We look forward to resolutions and brighter days ahead and appreciate the support of our partners who may not have been aware of the many ways public health is on the front lines of response every day.”
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